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Industrial and Infrastructure Investor Confidence Project

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - I3CP (Industrial and Infrastructure Investor Confidence Project)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-10-31

If Europe is to achieve its energy efficiency goals the rate of investment into energy efficiency must be increased, There are several barriers to investing in energy efficiency but the two major ones are; high transaction costs and performance risk - the risk that projects do not perform as well as they are intended to. The Investor Confidence Project addresses these problems by standardising the development process for energy efficiency projects, which reduces transaction costs and performance risks, thus making energy efficiency more investable. It also provides an independent certification of the quality of an energy efficiency project in which projects that are certified are labelled as Investor Ready Energy Efficiency.

The importance of increasing investor confidence in energy efficiency as an asset class was first stressed in the 2015 EU chartered Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) report which also highlighted the US based Investor Confidence Project as “a relevant model” and recommended “an EU Investor Confidence Project”. Building on this the first Horizon 2020 funded project, ICPEU, developed and deployed the operational Investor Confidence Project and Investor Ready Energy Efficiency certification system for building energy efficiency projects between 2015 and 2018. This follow-on project, I3CP, the Investor Confidence Project for Industry and Infrastructure, adapted the Investor Ready Energy Efficiency system to include energy efficiency projects in three new sectors, industry, district energy and street lighting.

The project convened energy efficiency and financial experts to guide the development of Protocols for each of the three sectors. These were published in English, German, Bulgarian, Greek and Italian to aid dissemination and use across Europe. Training on the use of the Protocols was developed and delivered 24 times, reaching nearly 600 professionals across Europe. An on-demand training was also developed and used 30 times during the course of the project. Nearly 100 professionals entered the process of becoming ICP accredited. A total of 22 projects and 9 programmes are adopting the ICP Protocols and system. Within the duration of the project 5 projects were certified as Investor Ready Energy Efficiency, 2 street lighting projects (1 in Portugal and 1 in Bulgaria), and 3 industrial projects (2 in Austria and 1 in Germany). Three more projects entered the certification process towards the end of the project.

In summary the project has delivered a pan-European functioning Investor Confidence Project (ICP) for those sectors and certified initial projects in industry and street lighting. The system is now available to all developers, owners and investors in street lighting, industrial and district energy projects across Europe.
From May 2017, the ICP team worked on three main fronts: developing and publishing Protocols and standardisation toolkits for industry, district energy and street lighting; disseminating information on the project and engaging with stakeholders; and certifying initial projects. A decision was taken that the Protocol for district energy would only apply to retrofit projects and that these types of projects were similar to industrial projects in nature, therefore the two Protocols were combined. In the end three Protocols, two for industry and one for street lighting, were published and translated into five additional languages, German, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Greek and Italian. , The dissemination and engagement activities succeeded in engaging with many stakeholders and recruiting more Allies, Project Developers, Quality Assurance providers and members of the ICP Investor Network. In total five projects were certified as Investor Ready Energy Efficiency, three industrial projects and two street lighting projects.
This project builds on the success of the ICPEU project, which significantly raised awareness and understanding of the importance of the lack of standardisation being a market barrier to increasing the flow of capital into building energy efficiency projects and energy efficiency in general. The project also developed a credible solution, the IREE Certification scheme, co-created with industry leading stakeholders. The 154 members of the Technical Fora of the I3CP project shows the strong engagement of the technical community in Europe to participate in writing the documentation of energy efficiency projects in industry and street lighting and district energy. At the end of the first phase of the I3CP project, more than 100 professionals from across Europe have signed-up to the ICP Trainings on Industry and Street Lighting Protocols, which demonstrates the interest in the Investor Confidence Project’s principles and Protocols, and willingness to develop projects accordingly.

The project has moved the state of the art by developing, deploying and proving the first system for the standardisation of the development of energy efficiency projects in industry, district energy and street lighting.

ICP has also pushed for the adoption of the ICP system in countries outside of the initial pilot countries and for the first time established partnerships with organisations in countries where ICP did not have in-country advocates, in order to make dissemination more efficient. At the end of the project, ICP has signed agreements for collaboration with organisations in France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and Switzerland, thus adding to the geographical penetration of ICP.

ICP has been recognised as a significant market development and supported by many major players including within the financial sector. I3CP added new members to the ICP Investor Network. However, it is premature to measure the impact of ICPEU directly onto the volume of investments made in energy efficiency projects in Europe. Indeed, it is likely to take several years to complete enough projects to measure the impact on the volume of energy efficiency investment, or the reduced transaction costs and risk reduction, but the adoption of ICP by leading stakeholders and its incorporation into many other projects shows that the potential impact is high. As well as the impact in Europe the project has been presented on and reported globally. ICP has sparked interest in hosting linked initiatives in India, China, the Middle East and Australasia. Finally, ICPEU has been backed by the global leader in green build certifications Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI), which is a major win for the project as it will ultimately enable the continuation of ICP’s activities on a commercial basis in North America (United States and Canada) and in Europe.